This town ain’t big enough for the both of us… Looking at minor parties

For complex mathematical reasons, it’s easier for minor parties to get elected during a double dissolution.  Ordinarily, that would mean we’d be flooded with information about the minor parties and for what they stand and why you might consider voting for them.  Instead, we’ve been talking about which of the major parties is the most criminal.  It’s not particularly edifying.

I had considered putting up a Kickstarter or something to fund me to go interview key people in minor parties, to see what they’re about, and to see if they’d put up good senators.  But I am time poor and really ought to have organised myself a month earlier.

So I’m doing the suboptimal version: one by one, over the course of several posts, looking at their policies until I’ve found a party for which I’d vote.  I’m going to go through the current list of registered parties in alphabetical order.  Wish me luck.

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So this is it then? You’re here to win friend… Election time: the Greens

It shouldn’t be a huge shock that I’m disillusioned by politics at the moment.  Personally, I look to political leaders to be the locus of our cultural expression.  I feel enormously betrayed by our current political landscape.  At this current election, I cannot spot the difference between the two parties.  Apparently, the way to deal with this sense of betrayal is to look for ‘third party options’.  Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do the responsible voter thing and check out the policies of all the registered parties.  Of course, this is completely fruitless because my vote is statistically insignificant…  Anyway.

The Australian Greens provide their policies in one big pdf file.  You can find it here.  At the outset, I thought I’d declare that I’m particularly wary of the Greens Party.  They remind me a lot of the Democrats — happy to make all kinds of outlandish claims while they don’t have any power whatsoever and then stab everybody in the back when they do.  Bob Brown frequently sounds sinophobic and Sarah Hanson-Young screams privilege (watching her implode on Q&A is a joy).

The supporters are more dogmatically rabid than even the most red neck Nationals voter.  A few months ago, I pointed out some of the weird maths of democratic elections (it’s possible, for example, for a party to be elected with a slight majority of seats but with a drastic minority of the total vote).  Another weird aspect is the effect of a ‘split vote’ in preferential systems.  The quirk is well known and why so many commentators try to analyse the likely impact on outcomes.  Thus, it’s legitimate to say that voting for the Greens is beneficial to the Coalition as it splits the ‘left’ vote.

If you mention this to a Greens supporter, well…

So I’m not exactly kindly disposed towards the Greens Party.  Still, I hope to give their policies a fair read. Continue reading